In age where the Occupy Wall Street galvanized not just those in Zuccotti Park, but folks across the country, and where Edward Snowden‘s revelations continue to make headlines, it’s no surprise that cinema is quickly responding. Earlier this year, we saw Zal Batmanglij and Brit Marling explore off-the-grid movements in “The East,” and this fall the Julian Assange saga gets the big screen treatment via “The Fifth State.” But before that, the festival circuit will be treated to the latest from Kelly Reichardt, “Night Moves.”
Starring Jesse Eisenberg, Dakota Fanning and Peter Sarsgaard, the film may share some DNA with “The East” in tackling extreme eco-movements, but Reichardt takes a different approach. Where Batmanglij’s movie portrayed a number of actions in a film that was also something of an espionage thriller, “Night Moves” focuses on the build up of one single plan, and delves in the mindset that drives it. If you want to know more, here’s an insanely detailed official synopsis, though you might want to hold off reading it until you see movie:
NIGHT MOVES is the story of three radical environmentalists coming together to execute the most intense protest of their lives: the explosion of a hydroelectric dam—the very source and symbol of the energy sucking, resource-devouring industrial culture they despise. Harmon is a former Marine, radicalized by tours of duty overseas. His life in the military is behind him, but at heart he remains the same reckless alpha male he always was, eager for adventure, excited by the prospect of mayhem and destruction. Dena is a high society dropout, sickened by the consumer economy into which she was born. She’s moved west and cut ties with her family, edging ever deeper into radical politics. And Josh, their leader, is a self-made militant, devoted to the protection of the Earth by any means necessary. A son of the middle class who works on an organic farm, he’s an intensely private person by nature and may have the deepest convictions of them all. NIGHT MOVES is a tale of suspense and a meditation on the consequences of political extremism. When do legitimate convictions truly demand illegal behaviors? What happens to a person’s political principles when they find their back against the wall?
“Night Moves” plays both Venice and Toronto and you’ll be privy to our verdict on it soon enough. More pics below.